Monday, July 18, 2011

5th Annual Celebration of East of the River Arts

Contact: Beth Ferraro
Phone: 202-365-8392

Fifth Annual Celebration of
East of the River Arts

July 14th 2011-- Three art exhibits open concurrently in Historic Anacostia on Friday August 5th, highlighting the multifaceted creative community in the area. Local artists explore and react to the cultural, social, and historical heritage of this neighborhood. The exhibits encompass the voices of a range of emerging to established artists and creative minds.

For the fifth year running, artists rooted in Wards 7 and 8 will be featured in Honfleur Gallery’s juried East of the River exhibition, with an opening reception on August 5th from 7-9pm. The exhibition includes photography and illustration. Artist Jonathan Edwards uses cartoon style illustrations to explore serious themes of contemporary urban African-American experience. Jon Malis’ large scale prints are based on his research in the medical archives of St. Elizabeth’s hospital. Larger-than-life cross sections of brains are a chilling yet alluring reminder of the hospital’s history and impact in Southeast Washington. Lark Catoe-Emerson and Deborah Terry’s explorations in abstract photography range from the intimacy of human skin to the landscape of the urban environment. Marlon Normon, who first learned photography at Ward 8’s ARCH Training Center, engages the natural world on a macro level. Poet and photographer Danielle Scruggs’ studies of self-image in text and image round out the collection. The six artists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges including Renee Stout (renowned DC artist), Stephen Bennett Phillips (Federal Reserve) and Susanna Raab (Smithsonian‘s Anacostia Community Museum). East of the River runs from August 5- Sepetember 9th 2011.

Upstairs at Honfleur Gallery, 61, an installation-based exhibition on mapping of time and place by resident artist Mei Mei Chang, is based on her two-month (sixty-one day) residency in Anacostia. Using traditional artists materials such as ink, paint and paper paired with more nontraditional drawing materials such as colored tape, yarn and packing wrap, Chang expands the concept of drawing from the paper’s surface to the architectural limits of the gallery. Exhibition runs August 5- Sepetember 9th 2011.

(Un)Lock It: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket, a collection of photographs taken in Washington, D.C. by poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis (author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc.), opens at The Gallery at Vivid Solutions the same evening with a reception from 6-8pm. Mr. Ellis was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and began taking his camera to area Go-Go’s while he was a percussionist in the Petworth Band in the 80s. Ellis portrays the lives of local legends like Chuck Brown and Little Benny with intimate respect and fascination. (Un)lock it: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket will be open to the public from August 5th to October 7th 2011. Gallery hours are 12-5, Tuesdays through Friday and 11-5 on Saturdays.

These exhibits, funded in part by the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, will be on view starting August 5th at three venues in Anacostia and are FREE to the public. The closest metro is Anacostia (green line). Be sure to visit our websites for details: and

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